Lack Of Knowledge Is Very Very Frightening

| Learning | October 14, 2013

(I’m in physics class, learning about acceleration. One of the questions on our test, which we’re taking at the time, has the answer of Galileo. The teacher is walking around the room, watching the class, and singing quietly to himself.)

Teacher:I see a little silhouetto of a man. Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?

(I quickly catch onto what he’s doing and write down the right answer as he keeps singing the song, skipping the name.)

Student: *raises hand* “Um, what’s the answer to number two?”

Teacher: “Seriously? After the singing and everything?”

Student: “…what?”

Me: “It’s Bohemian Rhapsody, for God’s sake!”

(There’s a pause, and no one seems to understand what that has to do with anything.)


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Cuddles Cure All

, , , , , , | Hopeless | May 9, 2019

Many years ago I adopted a pair of cats — sisters, who were fully litter trained but were in all other ways absolutely feral.

After years of work, they have become what I can only describe as… cats. The bolder sister, Sif, has become an unabashed tyrant, demanding tribute — cuddles — from any mortal foolish enough to enter my flat. Her sister, Freya, has learned that cuddles are awesome but has an almost impossibly complex recipe for when it’s okay to cuddle her. Specifically, she will not sit on human skin, so you’d better be wearing trousers, and she will not get under the duvet the way her sister does for nap-time cuddles.

That is, until I got ill. Not regular “I have the flu” ill; a nasty deliberate — it sure as h*** wasn’t an accident — left me disabled and my health had taken a turn for the poo. Lying in bed, my chronic pain condition acting up — a side effect of the deliberate — I was in the worst place of my life.

Then, Freya clawed her way under the duvet. She pressed herself as close as she could get to my naked chest and she buried all of the claws farthest from me into the bed. Then, using those claws as an anchor she tucked herself even tighter into me, bracing against her own claws, and she purred.

She purred so hard my whole torso vibrated as this tiny cat showed me how much she loved me and how much I mattered, and I fell asleep to the sound of this tiny, runty cat purring her love so hard that her whole body shook and, for one perfect afternoon, I felt loved.

Freya passed at the end of last year, but the memory of her overcoming all of her taboos and phobias to comfort me that afternoon still makes even the darkest day a little better.

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When Life Gives You Limes, Make Lemonade

| Working | August 10, 2012

(We’ve just started selling a new line of iced drinks for the summer. My usually stingy manager has been pushing hard to get sampling out, going so far as telling us to make free drinks for customers if they want to try more than one sample.)

Customer: “Hi, could I get a green tea lemonade?”

Me: “Sure thing! What size?”

Customer: “I’d like—”

Manager: “HEY THERE! Have you tried the new lime cooler yet? I bet you’d like it better than the tea! Hey [me], make one up for him, will ya?”

(The customer looks embarrassed, but seems too polite to decline a free drink. He mumbles a thank you as I set to fixing up the new drink. As soon as my manager goes into the back room, I switch ingredients and make the original order.)

Me: “Here you go, green tea lemonade. It’s on me today; I’m sorry about that. My manager’s a bit… excited about the new product. I figured you’d ask if you wanted a sample.”

Customer: *looks relieved* “Oh, thank you so much! I just didn’t know what to say to him!”

Me: “We usually just smile and nod, too.”

(The customer left me a fiver in the tip jar!)

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Sewing The Seeds of Anger

| Right | July 1, 2013

(I started sewing a few years ago, and got good enough at it to make most of my clothes myself, which has resulted in a wardrobe consisting of some unusual prints. A regular customer comes up to me.)

Customer: “I love your dress! You’re always wearing such special clothes! Do tell me where you shop!”

Me: “Actually, I made this one myself. Thanks for the compliment!”

Customer: “Really? That’s great! Can you make one for me?”

Me: “Um… I have never made anything for someone else, and besides, I don’t have any of this fabric left, so I’m afraid I can’t do that!”

(The customer suddenly gets angry.)

Customer: “Now that’s just rude! Why would you do that? You’re just making pretty clothes for yourself so you can tell other people they will never have them!”

(The customer slams the money on the counter, and leaves in a huff.)

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Of Mama Bears And Magic Hairs

| Right | September 7, 2013

(I am working as a cashier. A very tall and slender man, in his late 20s, wearing all black, with shoulder length black hair, facial piercings, and white and black face make up, and his nails painted black comes up to my till.)

Me: “Hi, did you find everything? Or is there something I can help you with?”

Customer: *in a very quiet low voice* “Um… yeah. I was wondering if you can hold this for a little while. Mama bear is done shopping over at [grocery store], and I need to go get her.”

Me: “Sure, if you just want to leave it here, I can put it under my till or you can take it to customer service.”

Customer: “I will leave it here.”

(The customer walks away. After about 15 minutes, he comes back to my till.)

Customer: “Hi, mama bear wasn’t finished, so I need to know if you can hold my stuff a while longer.”

Me: “Sure thing, that won’t be a problem.”

(He then proceeds to reach out a touch my hair.)

Customer: “I feel the energy of your hair. It wants you to know, it loves you.”

Me: “…”

(Once again he walks out the door. After another hour he comes back in with an older lady, in her 80s with a cane.)

Customer: “See Oma, this is who I was telling you about. Do you feel that energy?”

Old Lady: “Yes, she feels very light, like clouds.”

Me: “Are you ready to pay?”

Old Lady: “In a minute, dear.”

(This is when a middle aged lady, maybe 50, walks in grabs their hands and starts leading them toward the door without purchasing their items.)

Customer: “But mama bear, the hair!”

Coworker: “That was odd.”

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